Here in northern California, I typically don’t begin seeding most of my crops in the greenhouse until March. There are some plants, however, that really benefit from an early start. Below I’ll share with you some of the most important seeds to start in February. If you’re itching to get to work in the garden or greenhouse, try your hand at some of these early starters.
Vegetable Seeds To Start In February
- Onions and leeks (the allium family). There’s really nothing better than having a backyard garden full of slow-growing onions that you can pick right when you need them for dinner. But these guys really do take a while to get started! These seeds germinate better and more quickly with a little more heat so many farmers will set them right on a 70 degree heat mat until they have grown a set of leaves or two. I always start mne on heat mats by mid-February.
- Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant (the solanum family). These seeds need to be started this early in the season if you hope to get summer fruit off of them. They’re some of the first things I seed every year. You can sow them very close together in a flat or tray, or in their own small cells. Just like with my alliums, I always start them on bottom hear. I usually bump them up them into bigger cells or even 4″ pots, grow them on in the greenhouse, and then transplant them into the ground in the first week of May.
Flower Seeds To Start In February
- Biennials (campanula, foxglove, phlox). Biennial flowers are so special. You have to wait for them for a whole year, which builds anticipation like nothing else. There are a few times during the year when you can start them, but February is always a good one for me. Remember to keep them nice and watered and weeded after transplanting them out into the garden.
- Sweet Peas. Oh, sweet peas. In our area it would really be best to start them in the fall. But for the slackers among us, late winter is the second best option. Remember to sow in deep containers to encourage deep roots.
- Slow-growing perennials like eucalyptus. I started some ‘silver drop’ eucalyptus from seed a few years ago, and it now towers overhead by late summer every year. If you’re attempting to grow anything like this, seed it early!
So, what are you waiting for? Get to seeding, gardeners!